I am happy to share that I had my longest training run yet this morning! Not only was I finally able to crank out 12 miles, I actually averaged a 9:20 pace which gives me hope for keeping a 9:00 pace on marathon day because it should be significantly cooler in NC in November than it is in Tampa this summer.
This was also the longest run I have embarked on from my house. I’ve been doing a 6 mile out and back route fairly consistently but decided to try a different, longer route from home instead of driving to meet a running group. (30 extra minutes of sleeping has become a rare indulgence.) I ran from Seminole Heights through downtown Tampa, not exactly scenic, but the miles went by quickly and I finally answered the question, how far is Bayshore Blvd. from my house? Almost exactly 3.5 miles, close to my estimate. After leaving downtown, I enjoyed running along Tampa Bay for 5 miles. No dolphin sightings, but I always feel inspired seeing so many other runners and bikers out on Bayshore and I love being by the water. I returned to my neighborhood via Florida Avenue which I probably wouldn’t do again, since there is no shoulder to run on and the sidewalk is poorly maintained. But I will definitely be running from my house to Bayshore again, especially as my training runs get even longer.
I also learned an important running lesson today: don’t eat Vietnamese food the night before a long run! My friends and I decided to try a restaurant we hadn’t been to before, Pho Quyen. The food was delicious and reasonably priced so I would highly recommend the restaurant on any other night besides the night before a long run. Luckily, a very nice hotel employee at the downtown Marriott Inn let me use their bathroom. Planning at least one pit stop on a long run is crucial!
Once I made it back home, right before the lightning storms started again, I cooked up a delicious breakfast of dairy-free chocolate chip pancakes and turkey bacon. I love to reward myself with food after a long run. Hence, I understand why my students like to have external rewards on occasion for their hard work too!